Nutrition

Nutrition

The bulk of UK maize and wholecrop cereal crops are fed to livestock.  MGA nutrition information aims to make the most of this feed in the production of high quality milk and meat at a low cost.  MGA Nutritionist advice is free to members.

 
 

Resources: Nutrition

Forage Cost Comparison Table

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Nutrition Technical Note - Water

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Forage Legumes

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Feed Carbon Footprint

Thursday, April 7, 2022

MGA Conference Review

Thursday, April 7, 2022

April 2022 Mineral Price List

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Dairy Roadmap

Monday, December 20, 2021

Mineral Price List Q4 2021

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Silage Density

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Mineral Price List Q2 2021

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Starch

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Mineral Price List Q1 2021

Monday, February 15, 2021

TMR by Mike Wilkinson

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Post Harvest Losses

Monday, October 19, 2020

Mineral Price List Q4 2020

Monday, October 19, 2020

Factsheet for the MGA Minerals

Friday, August 7, 2020

Manure

Friday, June 26, 2020

Mike's latest article on manure composition and the effects on the environment and nutrition.

Growing Maize Right

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

An article from John Morgan on best practice maize drilling for 2020.

The Slow Hand Clap of Success

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Article from Mike Wilkinson on what to look for in healthy dung, and how to determine diet balance and rumen function from the consistency of the faeces.

MGA Conference Review

Friday, March 13, 2020

Review of the 2020 Conference by John Morgan. Presentations are under 'Resources'. For more info, contact the office.

Sustainable intensification in European agriculture

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Our overseas speaker, Friedhelm Taube,'s presentation from the 2020 Conference on Thursday 6th February.

Dairy nutrition research at Nottingham

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Phil Garnsworthy's presentation on Dairy Nutrition Research at University of Nottingham from MGA Conference 2020 on 6th February

Late Harvested Maize

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Mike Wilkinson's January article on things to look out for in late-harvested maize.

High Forage Diets

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Mike's article on high forage diets for high-yielding dairy cows. If you have any questions, please contact the office and we will put you in touch with Mike.

Conference Invite

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

2020 Conference invite and booking information

Case Study: Stephen Temple

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Case study of council member Stephen Temple in Norfolk focusing on his conversion to Conservation Agriculture.

Case Study: John Cottle

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Case study on the farming techniques of MGA council member, John Cottle

Effects of Weather on Maize Yield

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A technical article from Mike Wilkinson on the effects of different weather patterns on maize yield

Forage Cost Comparison Table

Friday, June 14, 2019

The cost comparison table has been updated for 2019

Silage Additives

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Some background from Mike Wilkinson on the use of silage additives

Nitrogen Predictor Form

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Our N Predictor Data Entry Form has had a revamp - hopefully it is a little more user-friendly and now allows for more options when recording organic nitrogen that has previously been applied.

Please print off or fill in a copy and post or email to Sarah in the office; we will aim to respond to you quickly as we can.

Navigating Brexit Conference Paper 2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Have a read of the NFU's actions and outlook with regards to Brexit and find out what it all means for farmers with Tori Morgan's presentation.

Diet & feedstock formulation

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

 

In his 16th Technical Note for MGA members, Mike Wilkinson outlines some basic aspects of diet and feedstock formulation.  Mike can be contacted via the MGA office.

 Introduction

Designing diets for livestock and biogas digesters involves balancing local feeds, grown on the farm or accessed from neighbours, with supplements obtained from specialist suppliers.

Beef trial - Harper Adams

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Simon Marsh, Senior lecturer at Harper Adams has kindly shared his report on the latest beef trial with MGA members.  Please find his report in the nutrition section of the website.

European maize meeting report

Thursday, November 1, 2018

In early September John Morgan and Simon Draper attended the European Maize Meeting (EMM), this year held in Belgium, on behalf of the MGA.  The meeting, hosted jointly by the Belgian maize  organisations, Uclouvain and CIPF, was held in Gembloux, approximately 50 km south east of Brussels and as in the past consisted of three elements.

 A classroom-based session when the Status of the Maize Crop in different countries was outlined by our hosts.

 This year’s chosen subject was Undersowing and the Impact of Undersowing on Nutrient and Soil retention.

Moving silage

Thursday, November 1, 2018

 

In his latest Technical Note for MGA members, Mike Wilkinson outlines procedures for moving silage from one place to another prior to use.  Mike can be contacted via the MGA office.

 Silage is in short supply and may have to be moved from one site to another before use. The material may have been stored in a bunker or temporary unwalled heap (field clamp or pile) some distance from place of use because existing silo capacity was inadequate, or because insufficient silage was made on site to meet demand.

Health hazards from silage

Monday, August 20, 2018

Silage making can be a relatively uncontrolled fermentation process. The main fermentation activity in the silo is the conversion of plant sugars to acids. The reduction in pH preserves the ensiled crop from rotting during the storage period provided oxygen is excluded from the silage.

 Well-made silage is a safe feed for livestock, but things can go wrong with the fermentation.  Hazards to livestock and human health from undesirable micro-organisms in silage are discussed in the article.

 

Costs of production

Monday, August 20, 2018

The latest in the Costs of Forage Production series is based on average yields and quality.  Costs of production are assume contractors undertaking establishment and annual management tasks with crop nutrients being supplied by straight inorganic (bagged) fertiliser.  No feed out costs or waste are included. 

 

Westerwolds offer a real opportunity

Monday, August 20, 2018

The hot, dry conditions have hit/ obliterated most second and third cut silages, as well as impacting on many maize crops, to the point that many growers are currently short of grazed grass as well as being down on forage stocks for the winter.  The likely early harvest of maize this autumn and recent rain does offer some opportunities to fill the forage gaps, as do extending grazing in the autumn and hopefully next spring. 

Drought & Maize

Monday, August 6, 2018

In this special Technical Note for MGA members, Mike Wilkinson outlines prospects for the 2018 maize crop and its likely feed value.  
 
Introduction

 This year’s weather to date in large parts of the UK has comprised a wet spring followed by drought. Many MGA members are short of feed and are taking steps to secure additional supplies for the coming winter.  A lot of hay and whole crop silage has been made. Some members are suffering from failed maize crops due to prolonged lack of soil moisture.

 What are the prospects for the maize crop this year and how might maize silage feed value differ from a normal year?

Topical Issues in Nutrition 2018

Monday, August 6, 2018

Feeding dairy cows during the last six months has continued to provide new challenges for both dairy producers and ruminant nutritionists. This article written by Chris Bartram, head of Nutrition at Mole Valley Farmers highlights several key points to consider. It also pinpoints a few areas that are likely to become more important in the future.

 

Droughted maize - Don't panic yet

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Managing forage feed supplies in a drought

Friday, July 6, 2018

We are heading for a prolonged drought and forage supplies are drying up.  Professor Mike Wilkinson discusses options for securing more forage for next winter and spring.

Costs of Forage Production (June 2018)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Average growing costs for Grazed Grass, Silage, Maize with and without film, Wholecrop, Fodder Beet, Kale, Stubble Turnips can be viewed and downloaded.

HARVESTING MAIZE – EFFECTS ON QUALITY

Friday, July 21, 2017

In his 6th Technical Note for MGA members, Mike Wilkinson looks at harvesting and silage quality.  Mike can be contacted via the MGA office.

 When to harvest?    

Changes in forage maize quality with advancing crop maturity are mainly the consequence of changes in whole-plant DM concentration. Post-fertilisation, sugars (mainly fructose polymers and glucose) are translocated from leaf via stem to rachis (cob) and finally to grain where they are polymerised into starch as the grain fills and increases in weight.  The progressive changes from sugars in solution to starch in suspension (milk) and then to solid starch is indicated by the rise in milk line from the base to the top of the grain as it matures.  This process is accompanied by significant loss of water from the plant. There is also loss of water due to leaf senescence and cell rupture due to disease and/or frost damage.

Chris Bartrams' latest maize nutrition update

Monday, March 27, 2017

Chris Bartram, Mole Valley Farmers head Nutritionist second article will highlight a number of latest observations and developments in the nutrition of the dairy cow. It is written to provide timely information for thought, discussion and application.